Arnar Bernhardsson has his KSS Owls’ field hockey program back on the podium.
Last Friday in Surrey, the Owls captured the silver medal at the 2016 B.C. high school girls AAA field hockey championship.
The Owls, who had finished fourth in each of the last two years, were just one shot shy of a gold medal.
In the championship final, the Owls fell to defending champion Cowichan 1-0 on a penalty stroke.
Bernhardsson said the youthful Owls, who had just one Grade 12 player on the roster, realized their potential thanks to committed and unselfish team play.
“We were very young, but everybody worked together,” said Bernharsson. “There were no superstars, just a very solid group of players, they relied on hard work and team play that was the difference for us.”
KSS lost its opening game to Charles Best, then rebounded with a 7-0 win over Eric Hamber.
On Day 2, in a must-win situation, the Owls defeated Cowichan 1-0 to advance to the top eight and keep their medal hopes alive.
“A lot of people said that might as well have been the final, end-to-end action, the best field hockey game they’d seen in a long time.”
The Owls were ranked fifth heading into the provincials but exceeded expectations by finishing second best.
“You’re a little sad to finish second, but in the end I’m really proud of the girls,” Bernhardsson said. “They stepped up and really achieved something special. It’s a credit to all the girls.”
The Owls’ last provincial medal was a bronze in 2010.
KSS won gold in 2009.